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Press release

Income and living conditions

In 2015, 28.7% of the Italian resident population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion, in accordance with the definition adopted for the Europe 2020 Strategy. The indicator is the combination of the poverty risk (calculated on 2014 income), severe material deprivation and very low work intensity indicators. It corresponds to the share of population experimenting at least one of the above conditions.

In comparison with 2014, the indicator is stable: the decrease of the share of population living in very low work intensity households (from 12.1% to 11.7%) was complemented by a slight increase of the share of population at risk of poverty (from 19.4% to 19.9%), while the share of individuals in severely materially deprived households remained unchanged (around 11.5%).

The South and Islands areas were still the areas of the country with the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion, affecting a little less than half population and it showed a slight increasing trend (from 45.6% in 2014 to 46.4% in 2015). The share of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion rose also in the Centre area from 22.1% to 24%.

The risk of poverty and social exclusion intensified also among the individuals living in very large households (five or more members) and, in particular, where there were at least three children aged less than 18 years (from 42.8% to 51.2%).

In Italy, the 2014 annual household disposable income was 29,472 euros on average (about 2,456 euros per month). The mean annual household disposable income at constant prices remained stable compared to the previous year for the first time since 2009. But from 2009 to 2014 the mean annual household disposable income at constant prices has shown an overall decrease of 12%. Taking into account the adjustment for the household size and composition (equivalised income) the reduction has been of 10% over the same period.

Half of the resident households earned, in 2014, a disposable income not above 24,190 euro per year (about 2,016 euro per month); in the South and Islands 50% of households received less than 20,000 euro (about 1,667 euro per month). The households with three or more income recipients showed a median income about three times higher than households with only one recipient (46,584 against 16,644 euros), while households with employee income (29,406 euros) or self-employed income (28,556 euros) as main source of income had respectively around 10,000 euros and 9,000 more than those living mainly of income from pensions or other public transfers (19,487 euros).

The share of total equivalised income (including imputed rent) received by the wealthiest fifth of the households was 37.3% against 7.7% of the poorest fifth, that means the wealthiest fifth of households had totally an equivalised income 4.9 times higher than the one of the poorest fifth of households.
The fall of real income from 2009 to 2014 has been stronger for the households of the poorest fifth, increasing the distance with the wealthiest households: the total equivalised income of the latter, in fact, passed from 4.6 to 4.9 times that of the poorest households in that period.

In 2014, inequality measured by the Gini index based on the equivalised income (net of imputed rent, fringe benefits other than company car and self-production income) showed a higher value for Italy (32.4) compared to the EU average index (31.0). At sub-national level the highest Gini index was in the South and Islands (33.4), while it was lower in the Centre (31.1) and in the North (29.3).

Reference period: Year 2015

Date of Issue: 06 December 2016

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